Interview: Lisa O'Neill

Last week Chelsey had a chat to stylist extraordinaire Lisa O’Neill. Lisa wants to help women to figure out what to wear for their body shape, how to wear it and how to best utilise the clothes they already have in their wardrobes

Who are your style inspirations?

I love seeing everyday women who feel happy and confident in what they are wearing.I love Iris Apfel, she is a 90 year old style icon who wears loads of accessories, vibrant makeup and great glasses. I love older women dressing outrageously! I plan to be just like her when I grow up…

I also spend a lot of time looking at magazines and movies for inspiration.

How did you get into the business of fashion styling? Did you always want to be a stylist?

I always wanted to be involved in making things look beautiful. I started life as a graphic designer. I worked in the packaging industry - I still feel like I work in the packaging industry, except now Ipackage women to look their very best. I spent my entire teenage years learning, researching and playing with clothing, makeup and accessories. I have aways been totally obsessed with groomingand personal presentation so I guess it was always on the cards.

Do you have any role figures in your life who contributed to your career, who are they?

I hugely admire Trelise Cooper. I love that she has followed her own vision and created an amazingbrand based on what she wanted to wear.

How do you juggle your schedule and still spend time on yourself?

I have four young children so time is my most valuable commodity. I am lucky that when I am workingI am often away and can focus fully on my work. Then when I am at home I can just focus on home stuff. I think it is really important for women to have time alone. Even if it is just a 10 minute showeruninterupted! I don’t worry about housework or mess – I would rather grab some time to read a book or catch up with a friend. Women spend far too much time on stuff that isnt important – they need tospend more time on themselves.

Your love for fashion started when?

When I was a little girl my Father used to take me shopping. He used to encourage me to get thingsthat I loved and to look for quality. This has stayed with me my whole life. I can still remember the outift I wore on my first day of school and complaining because my socks weren’t right! My Mumbought me new white knee highs with lace around the top. I felt very proud of those socks.

On your inspiration...

What are the five most precious things you couldn’t live without?

1 husband and 4 children equal 5 precious things! Apart from them, my most precious must haves are my iphone, my wedding rings, silk scarves, great earrings and my cat, Bertie.

How do you define “beauty”? What makes a woman beautiful?

For me beauty is anything that is nice to look at - beautiful skin, an amazing colour etc. Attention to detail is what I look for, I love Helena Rubinsteins quote; “there is no such thing as an ugly woman,only a lazy one”

What are your simple pleasures in life?

Sleeping, fresh flowers and good food.

What gives you confidence in your job as a stylist and in life?

A believe that I am able to inspire and encourage women to be their very best.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

I am very inspired by many spiritual teachings. I enjoy inspiring books and listening to greatspeakers.

What are your lessons in…

Love... that it is a verb. Sometimes you need to do love. You have to be loving, act loving and think loving. One of my favourite quotes is “That people need love when they least deserve it!” everything. Often this is all that you can actually control in your day. I think it is important to choose your attitude and take responsibility for it.

Acceptance... the older I get the more accepting I am. Being more accepting has stopped me wastingenergy on things that I can’t control. I carry the ‘Serenity Prayer’ in my wallet to remind me how important it is. …”grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to changethe things that I can and the wisdom to know the difference”

Personal style... wearing what makes you happy. Shapes, fabrics and things that you love. We always feel fantastic wearing things that we love. We just don’t wear them often enough!

Last question

I wish women knew…that everyone has the ability to look good and it has nothing to do with, weight, age or size.

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